Everything I need to know I learned on a tennis court

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by jc4.0, May 22, 2009.

  1. jc4.0

    jc4.0 Professional

    May 20, 2009
    Who can add to this:
    By JC Summerford

    10. Opportunities to do right are fleeting. (All points in a tennis match are important, but you have to attack the “big” points with everything you’ve got. Once that break point is finished, it’s finished and you’ll never get another look at it. In life, don’t put off until later what you should and could do right now; no excuse is good enough.)

    9. Honesty is the best policy. (If you get a reputation for iffy line calls you’ll be forever known as a hooker, and nobody will trust you or want to play with you. If you’re 1000% sure the ball is out, call it without hesitation. If you pause for a microsecond, give your opponent the point. In life, bad sports always suck. You’ll win no friends by cheating - and you need all of the friends you can get. A great friend once told me, ‘your gain is never my loss.’)

    8. Believe in yourself. (Even if you’re the underdog, there is always a way to win the match if you stay positive, and get creative. In life, you eventually find that you are your own best fan club, your own best asset. If you can cheer yourself up, laugh a little at yourself, and love yourself when everything and everyone seems to be going against you – you possess all you need for success and happiness.)

    7. Winning isn’t everything. (If you play your best, you’ve won. Your goal should be to win each and every point, but if you lose one, even because you messed up – feel blessed that there is another ball coming at you. That next ball is the one you have to hit, and hit well. In life, don’t lose sight of the ‘big picture’. A tennis match is, after all, merely a tennis match. If you’re lucky, you’ll live to play another one.)

    6. You can teach an old dog new tricks. (Anyone who gives up on trying to get better at tennis is missing a great opportunity. It doesn’t matter how young or old you are, you can always improve your game - so keep trying. You won’t win Wimbledon, but you may develop a better, more satisfying serve. In life, what keeps our minds and bodies young is staying convinced that there’s something out there we haven’t done, but could. Oftentimes, we surprise ourselves.)

    5. Sometimes it’s best to keep your mouth shut. (People are listening, even when you talk to yourself on the tennis court. Nobody likes someone who constantly over-analyzes his own game, and nobody likes to be coached by a peer. Constructive criticism is great, but only if it’s solicited. In life, a wise man once said, ‘I never learned anything by talking.’)

    4. Take responsibility for your own actions. (Choose your doubles partner wisely. You’ll best be served by playing with someone who subscribes to the team concept: you win together, you lose together. Communication is paramount; each partner must realize and appreciate the other player’s strengths and weaknesses, to develop a winning strategy. In life, cherish your good partners, and get rid of the bad ones, without guilt or remorse. You’ll both be better off.)

    3. Stuff your anger into your tennis bag, not your head. (It’s human nature to be mad at yourself when you tank a rotten shot that you know you should have made, or you get a bad line call (you have to assume your opponent didn’t do it on purpose!). But don’t emotionally brutalize your friends and family afterwards; leave it on the court. If nobody ever made a stupid shot, the first tennis game ever played would never have ended. In life, realize that you are going to make some bad moves, you’re going to get some marginal line calls. But if you live long enough, you may be awarded the opportunity to win another point.)

    2. Move your feet. (If you keep your feet planted on the court, you won’t make the shot – that’s a basic rule. Keep those feet moving, stay on the toes – and split step as your opponent hits the ball. It helps you change directions suddenly, and react quickly. In life, don’t get stuck in a rut, be ready to react quickly to take advantage of constant change – in fact, celebrate change - and don’t be afraid to take risks. But remember that sometimes it’s better to rally – you need to wait for the right moment to hit a winner.)

    …and the number one, most important thing I’ve learned on a tennis court:

    1. Keep your eye on the ball. (If every tennis match could be reduced to its essence, it would be this. All you have is the next ball coming your way, so focus entirely on it. Your whole game, win or lose, depends on what you do at this split-second. Will you hit a defensive shot that merely keeps the point alive, crack a winner that has everyone sighing ooh and ahh, will you mis-hit the ball and watch it fly ten feet long, will you let the ball go by and hope your partner hits it. In any case, in tennis as in life, you must stay in this moment, in this nano-second where ball connects with strings and then, because of your energy, spins a beautiful winner – or touches court outside the line, costing you dearly. In the end, after all, this point of contact is all you’ll ever have.)
  2. lovin'it

    lovin'it Rookie

    Oct 21, 2006
    nice, i like this!
  3. Steady Eddy

    Steady Eddy Hall of Fame

    Jul 19, 2007
    ^^That's a few things, but not enough stuff. He should definitely enroll to Kindergarten to complete his education.

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